MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A new trend is emerging in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.
In states like Florida and Texas, health and state leaders are noticing a major spike among younger patients.
“Probably the reason for that is people are just sick and tired of this virus. They want to go out. They want to go to the parks. They want to go to restaurants,” said Dr. Scott Strome, Executive Dean of the UTHSC College of Medicine.
Strome says as younger people start to go out more, that demographic will primarily be affected.
In Tennessee, the average age of COVID-19 patients is 39 years old and Tennesseans ages 21 to 40 make up 43% of all cases in the state.
In Shelby County, the No. 1 group of COVID-19 cases is 25 to 34 years old.
Dr. Strome says he’s also noticing another trend with this group.
”A certain percentage of them are getting really sick and, you know, are getting sick to the point where they have to go on ventilators, etc,” said Strome.
Strome says the medical community doesn’t understand why some younger people react so adversely to the virus, but younger people are more likely to survive a coronavirus diagnosis.
In Tennessee, people 21 to 40 years old only make up 3% of all deaths. However, younger people can be carriers, putting older people or people with underlying health conditions at risk.
“That is why we need our younger people to really focus on good social hygiene,” said Strome.
Avoiding large crowds is one way to slow the spread of COVID-19, but Strome says if you do go out in the public it is important to wear a mask and wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds.